Dado joints or box joints are a common occurrence in the woodworking industry. Even construction workers use dado stacks to install things such as shelving. DeWalt tools are one of the top tool brands, and curiosity dictates if DeWalt’s table saws will take a dado blade

DeWalt Table Saws with a large enough arbor (typically ¾) to secure the dado stack and a motor capable of safely cutting the wood without kickback can take a Dado Blade. 

DeWalt table saws’ ability to handle the dado stack depends on the model. Most job site DeWalt table saws have the necessary arbor length and blade stabilizing features to support a dado Stack. 

Do all Table Saws Take a Dado Blade? 

Table saws capable of handling a dado stack have larger arbors to secure the dado blade. The arbor must safely reach the other side to properly lock. The arbor washer and nut must be securely on the arbor and fully threaded.

Some Dewalt table saws can use a Dado blade. The ones that are able to use a dado blade are: 

  • DWE7491RS
  • DWE7485WS
  • DWE744XRS
  • DWE7490X

A common problem is that the table saw lacks horsepower. This is because the motor must safely keep the correct torque when cutting the wood. 

Why Won’t My Dewalt Table Saw Take a Dado Blade? 

The arbor of the saw could have been designed short to prevent a dado or any other blade the saw was not prepared for from being used. 

This is for your own protection. If you try to use a dado blade on the wrong saw, you could get seriously hurt. Do not skip the washers or take off other safety equipment to run a dado. Ever. 

Tempting as it is to remove the kick plate and plastic safety equipment to allow more room for the dado blade, it is dangerous to do so. 

The safety gear is also there to protect the individual during a mishap, which includes using the saw for what it was designed for. Those washers fill the space and help stabilize the saw blade. 

Can You Cut a Box Joint Without a Dado Stack? 

There are ways to cut a box joint without a dado stack. Table saws that accept dado stacks can be pricey but worth the investment if joint work is frequently done. However, there are options for those weekend projects, and D.I.Y. enthusiasts who want to save a penny or two. 

A dado can be cut in several different ways, including:

  • By hand
  • Skill saw and track
  • Band saw
  • Table saw

A combination of several methods is often used when someone does not have a dado stack in their shop. 

Cutting the Male Dado Joint by Hand

Measure twice and cut once; this method is used when cutting the male piece of the dado joint. After measuring the size of the fitting, cut it into the board with a handsaw carefully to mark the lines clearly with the saw (a pull saw works best). Next, use a hammer and chisel to carve the dado dowels and fittings.

Use the Bandsaw to Cut the Dado Joint

The band saw can cut the dado’s male and female parts. First, measure out the distance, or trace the sides of a ruler onto the boards for the cuts. Then use the band saw to cut out the dado and the two vertical cuts across the fitting cut. Finally, finish the dado joint with a mallet and chisel. 

Use the Skill Saw and Track to Cut a Larger Dado 

This method only cuts the receiving part of the dado cut. Lay the board out and run the skill saw over the area intended to be cut. Complete each pass and move the track over to remove the next section. 

To cut the dowel end, it is two cuts on each side of the dowel, carefully not to remove too much where it compromises the dowel’s integrity. This method should only be used on larger dado joints in construction projects (like installing shelves). 

Use a Compatible Table Saw 

Cutting the receiving end of the dado is easy to do and if dado joints are something that will be frequently used, then creating a Jig for the table saw that does not require a dado stack is the most beneficial way to cut a groove on a table saw. 


The DeWalt table saw will accept a dado stack so long as the arbor is long enough, it has enough blade clearance with the safety equipment installed, and the motor has enough horsepower to provide the correct amount of torque to avoid injury from unexpected kickback.